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Opinions about Pei Wei Asian Diner(s)

I was en route between Springfield and Radnor today and stopped at Pei Wei on Baltimore Pike. Seven foot high menu panels greet you with an interesting selection of fusion dishes. Service is in a rather cavernous, cafeteria-like atmosphere with blaring disco music. I had the two egg rolls for $4, the Mandarin Kung Pao for $8 and a self-serve soda for $1.86. The rolls were OK, the Kung Pao OK, but the 10oz. mound of rice was overkill. Overall, in terms of value and ambiance, a rip off. Many local restaurants have excellent lunch specials for half the $15 price tag with tablecloths, wait service and comfortable seating. Its not on my return trip list.

I understand they are a national chain with new outlets in Cherry Hill and City Line. Anyone else carry similar sentiments or did I miss something?

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  1. You're right, there's absolutely nothing special about this place or its "parent" restaurant PF Chang's. I mistakenly ordered shrimp green curry at the City Ave. location. It was so foul, in taste and appearance, that the manager gave me a card for a free lunch. Despite the allure of a free meal, I cannot bring myself to eat there...ever...again.

    1. If you dont like PF Changs you wont like this place. It is made for a casual dinner - especially if you have kids.

      I didnt think that the food was bad - I know it isnt "Chinese", but if you want that find a chinese restaurant

      1. I agree, it is casual and the flavors are often off. For the same type of food, I prefer Mama Fu's for a slightly better flavor profile and for not having to carry my drinks in the dark.

        1 Reply
        1. re: TampaAurora

          We had a Mama Fu's here that failed pretty spectacularly. Not quite sure why - I always thought the food was good, but then again I only ever tried it for lunch, and I'm not too demanding then since it's usually a quick in and out. Pei Wei has several locations here, though, and all seem to be doing very well - so obviously somebody likes it.

        2. I guess I'm the loner here. Really it's probably because we lack good local chinese food here in our area. I'm hooked on Pei Wei. I love the Kung Pao (both the chicken and the beef are good) and the Asian Chicken Salad is good too. I think it is a nice touch that while you wait for a take-out order to be prepared, they offer you a complimentary beverage while you wait. And, oddly, their chocolate chip cookies are the bomb!

          Edit - I no longer live in the DC area, I've returned to my homestate of NC. I didn't want anyone to read the line about not having good chinese food where I live and think I must be crazy with all the good ethnic food in DC. I really miss the ethnic food in the DC area.

          1 Reply
          1. re: DC Gal

            This opened recently in bergen county. Underwhelmed and not inexpensive unless you get one of the 5 combination...smaller size dish plus one side (drinks are extra) for around 7 bucks. We spent 6o bucks for four. Hot and sour soup was good as was spring roll and edemame ok.. Sesame chicken and steak lo mein were barely touched by my kids. The veg coc curry was off. The chicken pad thai was best of main dishes.
            Kids loved drinkmachine but wont be back anytime soon. If in the bergen mall recommend whole foods salad bar or bobbys burger

          2. Food is edible. Some of it even makes it to tasty. Prices are moderate, but not low. I wouldn't go out of my way for Pei Wei, but if you're stuck in an area where chains seem like your only options...you could do worse.